Tag Archives: Internet Explorer

Using Your Tabs

One of the fabulous features of Firefox, and now Internet Explorer, is the ability to use tabs inside the browser. I have a complete routine upon starting up my computer each morning at work, loading up tabs that I will use frequently throughout the day: our trouble ticket system, gmail, the staff directory on our Intranet, the document center on our Intranet, the local television news site that I look at when I have a pause in activity, etc. The effect is a neat and clean task bar that includes only one Firefox tab, along with the other things I may have open to work with (Outlook, MS Excel, Omnipage, etc.). I can even save these tabs when I close Firefox for the day, and they will reload when I boot up in the morning. Using tabs rather than several instances of the browser makes it that much easier to switch between items I’m using, as I don’t have to open or re-maximize a window every time. I just click the tab and the web page appears almost instantly.

I am surprised at how many techs in my department either don’t know about tabs, or haven’t tried them. One of my coworkers has so many instances of her browser open that there is no task bar left, and I can’t imagine how she even figures out which item is which in that mess, the tabs are so squished in her task bar.

I rarely use IE, so I can’t speak as confidently about how tabs work in it as I can about Firefox, which I use 99% of the time. If you’re a tech and not using tabs in the browser, I’d be interesting in knowing why not. If you haven’t heard of them before, or tried them, you should.

What?!? Google is Tracking Me?!?

[tongue-in-cheek]Oh my gosh! How could this happen! Google is tracking where I search, and what kinds of things end up in my gmail inbox, and puts a cookie in IE (and presumably any other browser) to track my interests so they can target their advertising to me? [/tongue-in-cheek]

This is news. I saw it in three different places this morning, so it must be important. Like any techie with half a brain cell didn’t know this was already going on. When I still saw ads as I surfed (I use adblocker most of the time in Firefox so don’t generally see many ads these days), I easily recognized that some advertising seemed to point directly to my interests. Of course I knew they were watching me. That’s why I don’t search for “how to build a nuclear bomb” on my own computer. (JUST KIDDING…that was a joke.)

If people think their surfing habits, search habits, and web-based email is not being watched, they have not been paying attention. This has been going on for a very long time. I, personally, don’t see the threat in it. This is how Google and others are making their money, and if they don’t make money, I don’t have access to their freebies like searching and email and groups/email lists.

Furthermore, there is no anonymity online. If I want to be anonymous, I need to stay off the computer, and in this day and age, that is not going to happen. You have to take the good with the bad. We are being tracked, we are being watched, and yes, maybe at some point, nefarious purposes will be applied to that data. But as this is nothing I really have any control over, I’m going to keep doing what I do, searching for what I need to search for, sending and getting email that holds a lot of information, and using group mail (Google Groups and Yahoo Groups) as I always have.

Anyway, if they are looking at my surfing, they are likely getting a laugh. Things I’ve surfed for lately: Italian social mores, social attitudes 1840 Italy, Women’s Suffrage, homeschool math, is Captivate 4.0 accessible with JAWS, Paul Cardall, Jason Mraz, THe Writer’s Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters, marriage laws in the Catholic Church… I could go on and on. I wonder what Google thinks of me?

Microsoft Urges Users to Uninstall Netscape 8 (as if that were surprising)

Microsoft Corp. is urging Windows XP users to uninstall the new Netscape 8 webbrowser because it can conflict with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Not surprisingly, Microsoft is claiming that the problem is with Netscape, rather than their own browser that invades the operating system like kudzu.

Update: [blogs.msdn.com/ie/] Their are 2 solutions given but #1 on the list is to uninstall Netscape

Continue reading Microsoft Urges Users to Uninstall Netscape 8 (as if that were surprising)

Nittany Lions Roar at Microsoft Internet Explorer

Pennsylvania State University now urges all students to stop using Microsoft Internet Explorer and use an alternative web browser, such as Firefox, Opera, or Safari. This week the university, famous for its Nittany Lion mascot and graduates who seem to never forget their alma mater, took serious notice of the security issues caused by Microsoft’s flagship web browser and took the public step of recommending students use an alternative.

Continue reading Nittany Lions Roar at Microsoft Internet Explorer

New Netscape Browser Works Better With Websites Designed for Internet Explorer

Today may mark a watershed for web designers and users. America Online, Inc. released a preview version of its Netscape web browser. The new version is based on the open-source Firefox browser; however, it has a twist: it is designed to better display and interact with websites that are designed to specifically work with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.

Because the new Netscape browsers uses a software engine that is built into Microsoft Windows, rather than into a separate application, the browser will only be released for Windows users, no Unix or Mac versions are planned. Users will have greater control over security details than if they were to use Microsoft’s browser; for example, pop-ups, cookies, ActiveX, JavaScript, and Java may each be individually tweaked for each website visited.

The new preview version is being released to a select group, and a public release is expected early next year.

Dave’s Comments
One of the difficulties I face, both in the office and at home, is dealing with websites that are designed around Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser and drop out when I visit them using Opera or Firefox. Maybe this new version of Netscape will balance IE’s popularity with sound security.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Netscape Network

Bofra Worm Gets Past Antivirus Software

Users of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) are vulnerable to infection by the Bofra worm, downloaded through website banner ads.

The Bofra worm, previously described only as a variant of the MyDoom worm, takes advantage of the iFrame vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer; Microsoft has not yet been able to release a patch that repairs this security hole. According to SANS Internet Storm Center, sites in the U.K., the Netherlands and Sweden have been infected, including The Register, tech website. The Register advises users who visited the site between 6:00 A.M. and 12:30 P.M. GMT on Saturday November 20, 2004, to check their machines for possible infection by the Bofra worm.

Bofra Skirts Antivirus Software
The more significant problem is that the Bofra worm, which is a spyware application cannot be detected by most antivirus software applications. Repairing the effects of this worm are difficult and costly. The effect of the worm is so many popups and unwanted software installations that the computer will slow to a crawl and be, effectively, useless. Many users will be forced to rebuild their drives from scratch, starting with a reformatting and reinstallation of Windows.

Dave’s Opinion
Affected users who are fortunate to not lose all of their data files will do well to rebuild their computer and stop using Microsoft’s integrated web browser. Until Microsoft is able to take security seriously and create a stable, secure browsing platform, Windows users should move to alternative web browsers such as Firefox or Opera.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

SANS Internet Storm Center
The Register
Message Center

Microsoft Sued Over Security Flaws

Marcy Levitas Hamilton, a media corporation CEO, has filed suit and is seeking to class action status for her complaint against Microsoft. Hamilton says that the software giant is responsible for a cracker’s being able to steal her Social Security number’s using a flaw in Microsoft’s software.

This is a new type of complaint: holding Microsoft legally responsible for the security of its applications and operating systems because the software maker’s disclaimers against responsibility for security flaws are an unfair business practice under the laws of California since consumers have few options other than using Microsoft products.

Dave’s Opinion
This is an interesting legal argument: should software makers be held to a standard of liability similar to the standards of other major industries.

Microsoft says that Hamilton’s law suit is misdirected because the theft is the work of vandals. But I think Microsoft is missing the point — it manages the only building in town and left the door open. Shouldn’t Microsoft, as the only landlord in town, be responsible to lock the door against the vandals?

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.